Metaphors are pervasive in everyday language, thoughts and actions (Lakoff & Johnson, 1980). The field of sport psychology, and more explicitly practitioner-client dialogue, remain exposed to such communication. Despite the prevalence of metaphor in our daily interactions, metaphorical discourse is often ignored, or unknowingly used in therapeutic settings (Jinks, 2006). However, noticing a client’s use of metaphor may provide an opportunity to work within the athlete’s metaphorical landscape (i.e., the sum total of their symbolic perceptions, Lawley & Tomkins, 2000) to facilitate therapeutic change (Kopp, 1995). Based upon established mainstream approaches, the present article proposes a composite framework for working with client generated metaphors in sport psychology practice (cf. Kopp, 1995; Lawley & Tomkins, 2000; Sims, 2003). The framework is contextualized through an exploration of case examples derived from the authors’ experiences of working within the metaphorical landscape of a series of clients. The article concludes with various implications for the work and training of applied sport psychologists.
Pete Lindsay, Owen Thomas and Gemma Douglas
Lars Dzikus, Leslee A. Fisher and Kate F. Hays
In this paper, we examine a case of “real life” ethical decision-making in sport psychology that occurred in the context of a symposium on sexual transgressions in sport, conducted during a recent professional conference. We use autoethnography (Ellis, 2004), an emergent qualitative methodology combining both literary and ethnographic techniques. In this case study, we analyze the unique perspectives of three key participants to make sense of what happened, why it happened, and how we can avoid similar instances in the future. We theorize and politicize the larger master narratives, which revolved around power, space, time, and symbolic violence. We conclude with recommendations for our sport psychology colleagues related to ethical decision-making, organizational planning of conferences, and being an ally to survivors of sexual abuse.
Leslee A. Fisher, Ted M. Butryn and Emily A. Roper
The central purpose of this paper is to speculate on the ways that sport psychology researchers, educators, and practitioners can use a cultural studies perspective to enhance their research and applied work. At base, cultural studies critiques and challenges existing norms and practices and examines how these practices affect people in their everyday lives (Hall, 1996a). Although cultural studies has been notoriously difficult to define (see Storey, 1996), most cultural studies projects deal with the interrelated issues of (a) social difference, (b) the distribution of power, and (c) social justice. In this paper, cultural studies is first defined, incorporating sport-related examples wherever possible. Next, key concepts in cultural studies including power, privilege, and praxis are explored. We then discuss how sport psychology scholars and practitioners might promote an “athletes-as-citizens” (Sage, 1993) model of service provision in the applied setting.
Brendan Cropley, Andrew Miles, Sheldon Hanton and Ailsa Niven
This article offers an exploration of factors that influence the effectiveness of applied sport psychology delivery through reflection on a series of consulting experiences. Knowledge gained by a British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences (BASES) trainee sport psychologist (Cropley), through a process of reflective practice during the first year of supervised experience, is presented around a number of themes that have emerged from current literature regarding the characteristics of effective service providers (A. Anderson, A. Miles, P. Robinson, & C. Mahoney, 2004). It is argued that reflection improves self-awareness and generates knowledge in action that can enhance the delivery of applied sport psychology. Support is therefore provided for the adoption of reflective practice as a tool for personal and professional development.
Robin S. Vealey
The editorial mission of The Sport Psychologist (TSP) emphasizes the development and implementation of knowledge to enhance the practice of sport psychology. A comprehensive review of all articles published in TSP from 1987 to 1992 was conducted to identify significant trends in knowledge development and implementation since the journal was established. One hundred seventy-six articles were examined and classified based on design, method, objective (scientific or professional), subject characteristics, author characteristics, and content area. Trends that were identified from the review include an emphasis on correlational designs, an increase in intervention studies and the use of case designs, and homogeneity of subjects and authors. Three future directions for advances in applied sport psychology are advocated to increase social relevance, enhance creativity, and reconceptualize the traditional paradigm of knowledge development.
Frank L. Gardner
The development and acceptance of any scientific discipline requires an ever-expanding and maturing empirical base. Yet despite vast scientific progress in allied domains of professional psychology, the field of sport psychology has remained fairly stagnant in its research progress and has overlooked major advances that could aid in the advancement of the discipline. This article discusses important issues related to the lack of efficacy of the traditional and long assumed “gold-standard” interventions for the enhancement of athletic performance, and compares the field’s empirical base to sister disciplines in psychology. Further, the lack of empirical studies examining rate of change, moderators of change, and mediators (mechanisms) of change is discussed, and suggestions are provided for a new research agenda in sport psychology that could expand its professional credibility and enhance its overall scientific development.
John G.H. Dunn
Traditionally, nomothetic and idiographic methodologies have been viewed as antithetical. This dichotomous perspective has caused many researchers to advocate the benefits associated with only one of the two approaches. Such a biased view hinders the acquisition of knowledge in the sport psychology field because the potential benefits that the nonfavored approach can offer are frequently overlooked. The present study demonstrates how research in sport psychology can be enhanced by combining nomothetic and idiographic procedures. This combined approach provides the researcher with the opportunity to validate nomothetic principles at the individual level, while simultaneously generating nomothetic hypotheses from idiographic analyses. To illustrate these points, a nomothetic profile of situational threat perceptions based upon the responses of 46 ice hockey players (reported by Dunn & Nielsen, 1993) is compared with the perceptual profiles of three individual ice hockey players. The comparisons show many unique perceptual differences between the group and individual solutions.
Rory Mack, Jeff Breckon, Joanne Butt and Ian Maynard
The purpose of this study was to explore how sport and exercise psychologists working in sport understand and use motivational interviewing (MI). Eleven practitioners participated in semistructured interviews, and inductive thematic analysis identified themes linked to explicit use of MI, such as building engagement and exploring ambivalence to change; the value of MI, such as enhancing the relationship, rolling with resistance and integrating with other approaches; and barriers to the implementation of MI in sport psychology, such as a limited evidence-base in sport. Findings also indicated considerable implicit use of MI by participants, including taking an athlete-centered approach, supporting athlete autonomy, reflective listening, demonstrating accurate empathy, and taking a nonprescriptive, guiding role. This counseling style appears to have several tenets to enhance current practice in sport psychology, not least the enhancement of therapeutic alliance.
Artur Poczwardowski, Clay P. Sherman and Ken Ravizza
Practitioners in helping professions have recognized the importance of philosophy of service as a fundamental factor driving the process of behavior change. This article explores professional philosophy as an underlying element of successful sport psychology service delivery. A hierarchical structure of professional philosophy is proposed that delineates important components both overtly discussed and implied in the sport psychology literature. These components—arranged from the most stable and internal to the most dynamic and external—are (a) personal core beliefs and values, (b) theoretical paradigm concerning behavior change, (c) models of practice and the consultant’s role, (d) intervention goals, and (e) intervention techniques and methods. Each component is examined from the perspective that philosophy guides practice. The resulting conceptualization of professional philosophy may be used for both didactic and research purposes aimed at furthering consultant effectiveness in sport settings.
Andrew W. Meyers
I present my personal experience as a sport psychologist on the sports medicine staff at the 1994 United States Olympic Festival. In addition to documenting my activities in preparation for the Festival and my work during the games, I raise issues concerning psychological service delivery at large, multisport events and the personal impact of such service on the sport psychologist. I also consider implications of my work at the festival for the development of the profession of sport psychology.